The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento CA has been a favorite place to roam. With rooms filled with varieties of Art works, from the ancient to present day, there is something you can find that intrigues, resonates and inspires. I particularly enjoy the ancient pieces. They inspire me and spark curiosity. How were these made? What inspired the artists? Why did they use these particular materials? This year I donated a piece of Art to help raise money for future programs and events, to keep the Crocker Art Museum for everyone to enjoy.
Big Names, Small Art On-line bidding is OPEN now until June 4
Discover small works (12 x12 in. or less) in all media from emerging and established artists. Bidding starts at $25 per piece regardless of fair market value. BNSA ends Saturday, June 4, with one artwork closing every minute starting at 1 PM! Click below to view my donated Art Piece. This is a 9 x 12″ painting with natural mineral paints & gold leaf on handmade papers over wood.
As you know, my theme for this year and what I have been creatively contemplating while I paint, sculpt, or envision a new art piece come alive is ‘Resilience’. Three of my works grounded in this theme were chosen for Nevada County’s famous film festival and exhibition, The Wild and Scenic Film Festival 2021 Virtual Art Exhibition. I am honored that not only was one chosen to be featured, but three! This is a time of true resilience.
I'm curious if this theme resonates with you, or even, what your own definition of it is? How does the word resilience call to you? How do you envision it? What comes alive?
Resilience, A Call to Rise
It is remarkable and indeed wonderful how the reindeer, elk, and deer have survived throughout history. Amazing art found hidden on cave walls in Europe show that these animals lived and thrived so long ago as well as still exist today. This is “Resilience by Nature”. Can we learn from this example and not only protect their continued existence but be able to self-examine how we can rise to the call of resilience now?
Guardians of Resilience
Can we sincerely learn and be willing to seek eco-friendly and earth-awareness means from the intelligent beings and elements that guard the nature surrounding us? We must look to the guardians already existing, humbly listen, learn, and put into practice in order to thrive together.
Bear Carries Stories of Resilience
Roots… “Resilience,” said Bear, “That’s a great story!” Throughout time I have collected stories, stories of the people, stories of the land, stories of the heavens. That’s what I do. A long, long time ago when days were considered ancient, I traveled the earth tirelessly collecting these stories…How the waters ran freely, the wind whispered whimsically, and the trees danced magically while the heavens smiled and its light guided.
Power and the Forgotten Time… The people had wonderful and imaginative stories! Some were very comical, others taught lessons and some were scary. They new their roots, cultivated and loved them. They cooperated and collaborated building homes into villages, and villages into towns, and some into great cities and civilizations. Soon they forgot their roots; these faded into preoccupation with working more to make many things and have many things. They became separate beings disconnected from their origins and their cooperative acceptable selves. Stories of origins and roots were forgotten. Instead these became beliefs in disease, starvation, destruction and confusion. Such ideas fell over the people who began to live isolated lives.
Resilience… The tales grew heavy, and heavier. The weight of them were a burden. Yet, the Bear that I am is wise. I know that the stories were valuable because of what new understandings can be gained. There is only the need to humble the heart, recall our roots, to glory in the origins of people and of all nature… to remember how everyone is connected, always has been and even still are. So, we shook ourselves free from the weights of belief tales and their myths. We saw everything still, gently remembering, being, and resting in a deeper sense of connection. Now we move to resilience, into embracing different stories and fresh ideas, holding to the roots, once sewn with ancient seeds, no longer forgotten, but give life to new directions, as we gain innovative bearings.
Mixing natural earth minerals into paints, I explore the world of the Ancients in my art. Integrated into my artworks are the mysteries surrounding their art, techniques and early language roots in signs and pictographs.
Great appreciation and gratitude to Alexandra Carelli for permission to use her song for this video. Beautifully written and sung that brings out the importance of praising our ancient and original roots.
I put the challenge out there and YOU have answered! From Coast-to-Coast, street art has been flowing-in as folks all over are taking on the Street-Art-Challenge I put out last month. It’s been such a joy watching all the clips, photos, and videos of your artwork come in over the last month from YOUR STREET to MY STREET, offering such meaningful connection during this strange time. BIG Thank you to all who participated…here’s a compilation of a bit of what I received:
In more news…
Here is a video showing how I begin the process of a painting with mineral paints and gold leaf.
I mix natural minerals from the earth with walnut oil along with softened natural beeswax.
It is applied by using different tools: paintbrush, eco-friendly thinner, palette knife, or rib.
In this painting, handmade and recycled papers are applied with a hand mixed plant based glue and left to dry thoroughly.
The charcoal pencil is used to create a basic sketch of images on the surface.
From here the background and foreground areas are worked with paints to create varying thicknesses of richness in color.
I hope all are well and able to deal with the need for distancing, staying at home, and isolating during this unusual time. From deep cleaning and reorganizing tasks to getting out, but staying close to home, we are all learning a different and much needed grounding to just be — be with your own self and close family members.
Recently I took to the streets! Well, I took my chalks to the road outside our home. I drew a large Ancestral reindeer and a cave bear. Then I laid on the road next to these creations while my husband stood on a ladder and took photos. It was a delight to be in the drawing with the Ancestral animals that inspire my work, and actually become a part of the artwork I’m so used to drawing up from my imagination.
Then, neighbors came by…and they took turns taking photos of the artwork and in some cases, adding their children into the art as if they too were riding an ancient reindeer and a cave bear. What a wonderful change of pace! And a way to share with our neighbors…at a distance of course! So with this new inspiration in mind, I’ve got an invitation for you…
Challenge: From my street to yours — create art with giant chalk drawing and place yourself or family member as part of the scene! Share your photos! I’d love to see what captures the imagination!
Be sure to tag me so I can see: @jenniferruggefineart #somegoodnews #frommyhometoyours #streetart
Working with the guidance of artist, Deborah Bridges, who creates phenomenal figurative sculptures in clay, I have taken up the endeavor to bring the images from my paintings into 3-d.
After many experiments with different clay bodies and mineral test tiles, I am creating these images through the process of pit firing. I dug a small pit into one of our raised beds for easy access. Then I built an enclosed space around this pit with fire bricks, stacking them to keep heat inside but a bit of air to breathe. I collected various materials from our surrounding forests for fuel. I waited for cold rainy days to set-in and prepared the pit along with the bisque clay figurines. I added different layers of combustibles under, around, and over each sculpture to encourage variations in the burn process. The fire was kindled. It burned all day, smoking nicely after I placed a metal cover over the top. It smoked throughout the night into the wee morning hours when only heat from the lower part of the pit still felt warm. Then carefully each figure was removed. Aww, the thrill of it all! Such magic!
Inspiration comes in different ways. Recently I joined a group of artists, all women, to support our art endeavors and experiences. From the conversations and my studies of ancient artworks, I found I was drawn to the small stone statues of voluptuous women, well-known as “Venus”. Soon thereafter, visions of this ancient beauty flooded my thoughts…I had to paint her.
I prepared the canvas, mixed my paints and began to work swept up in the ancestral past. Incorporated into the painting are symbols that not only were found in ancient cave etchings, but cross into roots of ancient written languages such as Egyptian, Phoenician, and Hebraic pictographs. Embedded into this painting are the meanings given by scholars today. The ancient relics of Venus are mostly regarded as fertility goddesses. Yet, women had a more valuable standing where, “Earth brings forth life, and Earth nourishes life, and so is the analogous powers of woman…the mother too of our second birth, our birth as spiritual entities.”¹ And this work conveys that…
Woman — nurtures, sustains and maintains tender constant support and protection